Clay is about translating ideas into form and texture.  Each part of an object is a form, and forms can be large or small, rough or smooth, thick or thin, flat or more three-dimensional.  Students learn to use their fingers and clay tools to change the form and texture of the clay.  They also learn to use weight, balance, and effective construction techniques to insure that their sculptures will stay together throughout the drying and firing process.  The challenge for students is to figure out their own ways to use all of these elements in their sculptures.

Clay Pinch Pots

  • How can you make a ball out of clay?
  • How can you create a hole in clay?
  • How will you pinch the walls evenly?
  • What textures or patterns can you make with the tools?

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Clay Best Pets

  • If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be and why?
  • What are the biggest parts? What are the connecting parts?
  • What shapes do you need to make?
  • How will you attach pieces to make them strong?
  • What kind of outside does your animal have?
  • How can you use the tools to create textures and details?

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Clay Dream House

  • How can you make a geometric shapes out of clay?
  • How will you attach pieces to make them strong?
  • Where can you use your fingers to pinch or poke the clay?
  • How can you use texture to show the different parts of your place?

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1st Grade

Clay Self Portrait relief

  • What parts of your face stick out or go in?
  • Where will you pinch or poke the clay?
  • Where will you add on to the clay?
  • Where might you need to add texture?
  • How will they create a skintone and hair color?

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Imaginary Creatures- extension to papier mache environments

  • What kind of creature would live in your environment?
  • If your creature lived in the forrest, what might it need?  In the water?  In the lava?
  • What parts make this animal different from other animals?
  • What is the biggest part of the animal?
  • What smaller parts do you need to make?
  • How will you join all the parts together?
  • What is on the outside of your animal?  How can you make textures?

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Clay special Places

  • How can you pinch, pull, or poke the clay to create different land forms like caves, mountains or trees?
  • If you are going to attach how will you make things strong?
  • How can you use texture to show the different parts of your place?

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2nd Grade

Clay Relief

  • What animal will you make?
  • What parts will you need to make?
  • What parts will stick out the most?
  • What parts will stick out a little?
  • What parts might you push into the clay?

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Size relationship/ Gesture-

  • How do animals care for their babies?
  • How big are the parents compared to the babies?
  • How close will the animals be to each other?
  • Will you build a habitat for them?
  • How will you use texture to add detail to your sculpture and show the difference between different areas in your sculpture?


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Grade 3

Clay Practice: Partner activity

  • What is your favorite ride at the amusement park?
  • What parts will you need to make?
  • How will you make your clay sturdy?

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Animals in their Habitat

What is a habitat?

  • What kind of parts do you need to make for your animal?
  • Where does your animal live?
  • How big will your animal be in it's habitat?
  • What kind of terrain will you build for the habitat?

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  • What will you person be doing?
  • What are the parts you will need to make?
  • How will you get your figure to balance and be sturdy?

clay 3 gesture

City- Building Geometric forms

  • What might you see in the city?
  • What kinds of forms might you need to construct your city?
  • How can you make clay have flat surfaces?
  • How will you make it interesting from all sides?


  • What is a cylinder?
  • How can you construct one out of clay?
  • What will you add on to the cylinder?
  • Where will you take clay away?
  • What decorative details will you add?

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Grade 4

Clay group activity: Practice activity (science integration)

Students study and take care of turtles in their classrooms.

  • What does your turtle need to survive in its habitat?
  • How will you show the different areas?
  • Where will you use textures?
  • How will you work as a team?

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Bugs from Observation

  • What parts does your bug have?
  • Where do the parts connect?
  • Where are the big and small parts?
  • How will you make the textures on its body?

clay 4 bugs

Coil Pots

  • How do you make a coil?
  • How can you adjust your pressure to keep the coil round?
  • How can you attach the coils together?
  • What form do you want for your coil pot and how will you achieve the overall shape?

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Size relationship/ Gesture/ Narrative

  • How do people and animals interact?
  • Are you bigger than the animal or is the animal bigger than you?
  • Will you be close together or far apart?
  • Will your pieces be attached? separate or combined on a platform?
  • How will you and the animal be moving to suggest the ineratcion?
  • What textures and parts will you need to complete your sculpture?

clay 4 size

Slab masks

  • What kind  of animal will you make?
  • What shape will you need for the face?  
  • What parts will you need to attach?
  • What kind of texture does your animal have?

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5th Grade

Figures: Gesture, Relationships in Space

What kind of game or activity can two people be doing together?

  • How much space will there be between the figures?
  • How will the figures bend and move?

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Slab Construction

  • How will you construct a slab?
  • What shape will you make your slab?
  • How will you attach slabs together?
  • What textures or decorative details will you add?

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